One of the first cities I rode through was Vukovar, and I immediately came upon the water tower. It was heavily damaged in a battle in the early 90s, in which ~2000 people were killed. It’s been preserved as a memorial (a very grim one) of this battle. There were a few other large structures I noticed with very heavy damage, along with many buildings that were still riddled with bullet holes. On my first day, I also visited two WWII memorials. The first was the Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina, built in 1967 to honor the people of Moslavina that fought in WWII. The second was the Stone Flower, in memory of the victims of the Jasenovac Concentration Camp. This was the only concentration camp that wasn’t run by the Germans, and was also one of the largest across Europe. It was started by the Ustaše in 1941, and the primary victims were Serbs. It’s estimated that 80-100,000 people were killed at this camp.
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241 Kms from Vukovar
Day 3Budapest welcomed us with winds we'd never experienced, and took our breath away the moment we landed. We knew our Europe Escapade had started now, truly. This city was everything our sore souls needed and more. Cheap, hip-hop and air which had a lot of love in it, Budapest remained a highlight of the trip.The Chain Bridge at night, the Castle and Fisherman's Bastion in the day, are absolute spectacles to watch.A big mug of Hungarian beer and a Hungarian Goulash are not to be missed, when in Budapest.However, the high point remained the relaxing and much needed hours spent in the Thermal water springs and a Saturday night party at the Ruin Bar. You've to be there to know what I mean.
338 Kms from Vukovar
348 Kms from Vukovar
-Missing trains (Lost the count)
259 Kms from Vukovar
Crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina the next day brought on a drastic change. Mosques started showing up in villages instead of just churches, cars from the 90s were traded for cars from the 70s, houses were far more utilitarian…but there were still plenty of stray dogs. I arrived in Mostar (unofficial capital of Herzegovina) and had plenty of the day left to see a bit of the city. In 1992, the Serbian Orthodox church (in eastern Mostar) was destroyed. Today, they are just now starting to rebuild the church.The ruins of the original church are still at the site. They were able to retrieve the church bells from the rubble, which will be used again in the new church.
253 Kms from Vukovar
After shivering in the snow for a few hours, I gave up on couch surfing and went to find a hostel. Quick Google search + Google Maps, and twenty minutes later I was in front of Hostel Costel. THANKFULLY they had room, and the hostel was nice and non creepy (that’s not something I can say about the hostels I stayed at in Rome. Shudder!!!).